Ad Store Grabs Mike’s Hard Lemonade

NEW YORK Mike’s Hard Lemonade has shifted its $15 million account to The Ad Store from two-year incumbent Cliff Freeman and Partners, sources said.

The decision follows a review that included New York-based Cliff Freeman, The Ad Store, Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners and possible others, according sources.

Charles Rosen, evp, director of business development at Cliff Freeman, said, “When they said they were going to talk to other agencies in November, we were incredibly disappointed, especially after two years of double-digit sales growth and a recent gold Effie win in one of the most difficult categories—the beer category, not just the malternative beverages. But, the client has had a lot of executive changes across all departments, not just marketing. We wish them the best with their future marketing direction.”

Mike’s vp of consumer marketing Jeff Tripician left in mid-2002 to start TM Branding, a branding and consulting firm in Boulder, Colo. It could not be determined if a replacement has been named. Calls to the Lakewood, Colo.-based client and The Ad Store were not returned.

Cliff Freeman’s most recent campaign retained the tagline, “A hard day calls for a hard lemonade.” In one spot, an office worker tells a female colleague that he grew a “second evil head,” which ogles her when she offers to buy him a Mike’s Hard Iced Tea (a line extension).

RJ Palmer in New York handles media for Mike’s, which is unaffected. According to CMR, Mike’s spent $15 million in measured media last year and nearly that much for the first nine months of this year.